Due to some delays in approvals and inspections, Rubber City Theatre's new theater space in WhiteSpace Creative's building won't be ready in time for the opening of the new show "TAME" on Friday.

According to Artistic Director Dane Leasure, the theater is waiting for use approval from the city of Akron before going through inspections and applying for occupancy permits in its new location on the main floor of a large, concrete-front building built in the early 1930s.

But the good news is that the show will still go on, in the bistro area of WhiteSpace Creative's historic adjoining brick building at 243 Furnace St.

The bistro area will be adapted temporarily for a thrust stage, light and sound. The theater will lose about 20 seats for audience members in the backup space.

"It actually turned out it's a really nice setup,'' Leasure said of the brick wall backdrop and warm wood surroundings. "It's really cool to still be in the same building."

"Shakesqueer Project: TAME" is the first phase of the theater's Knight Arts Challenge-winning project, a world premiere play that reimagines Shakespeare through the lives of LGBTQ+ characters. Playwright Josy Jones began writing the work in April 2018 and the play had a reading in December, followed by rewrites. "TAME," a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew'' with an Akron-centric setting, features a cast of 10.

The show, recommended for ages 14 and older due to strong language and mature themes, will continue through June 23. Cost is $10-$25. Call 234-252-0272 or see www.rubbercitytheatre.com.

 

Dance time

Members of the Northeast Ohio dance community are proud to be hosting Dance/USA conference for the first time in Cleveland on Wednesday through June 15. Dance/USA is the national service organization for the professional dance world.

According to Pam Young of DanceCleveland, a Cleveland steering committee member, the conference in Northeast Ohio will have more dance performances and classes than any previous Dance/USA conference.

A free Dance Showcase will be open to the public at 7 p.m. June 13, presented by Playhouse Square and featuring 10 local dance companies. They are ABREPASO Flamenco/Alice Blumenfeld, Cleveland State University Dance Program, ELEVATED, GreeneWorks Project, GroundWorks DanceTheater, Inlet Dance Theatre, Neos Dance Theatre, Shri Kalaa Mandir, Verb Ballets and special guest BalletMet of Columbus.

Reservations are required for the free event at www.playhousesquare.org.

Another free event will be a Dance Business Boot Camp from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13 at Cleveland State University's Middough Building, classroom 236, adjacent to Playhouse Square. The full-day workshop is geared toward dance-related small businesses. To register, see https://sforce.co/2Z0BtxM/.

The Knight Foundation has awarded $50,000 for 46 scholarships for dance professionals and students to attend the conference, including seven from Akron, another 23 from across Northeast Ohio and 16 others from seven additional Knight resident cities across the country. Christy Bolingbroke of the National Center for Choreography in Akron coordinated scholarship applications, which resulted in $18,500 in scholarships to Northeast Ohio participants.

For the conference's opening night, Northeast Ohio dance luminaries will be among those recognized in an Honors Ceremony at the Cleveland History Center, an event open only to conference participants.

They are Cleveland native, dancer, choreographer and dance-driven dramatist Dianne McIntyre, who will receive the Dance/USA Honor Award for extraordinary leadership and exceptional contributions to the national dance field; and Terry and Sheldon Adelman of Northeast Ohio, who will receive the Dance/USA Champion Award for their longtime support of Playhouse Square and its annual Dance Showcase.

Glenn McCoy, executive director of the San Francisco Ballet, will receive the Dance/USA "Ernie Award" for his behind-the-scenes efforts to support dance artists' work and creativity. This award is named after late Cleveland Ballet co-founder Ernie Horvath.

The conference will draw dance companies from across the nation, from Sarasota Ballet to Dance Theater of Harlem to the Houston Ballet, as well as companies from Canada and Europe and students from numerous universities. (See https://danceusa.org/annual-conference to register.) The event has brought the Northeast Ohio dance leadership together for a common cause, too.

"The [dance] profile of Northeast Ohio has been rising in the national viewpoint for a while and this just is sort of the icing on the cake,'' Young said. "I think it's a way of not only having our community shine but to really show the diversity of our own dance community through the showcase and through the participants who will be on the ground here."

 

Student achievement

Trombonist Derek Gullet, who recently graduated from Lake High School, was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia on a full-tuition scholarship. The 18-year-old made the first cut after sending a pre-screen video recording of himself playing, which landed him among the top 100 applicants for one of only two open trombonist spots at the school.

Next came live auditions, when he made it to the final 20, then down to six and finally to his winning audition. He performed Trombone Concerto by Launy Grondahl, saying, "I felt that was the best audition of my life."

Gullett, the son of Mandy and Chris Gullett, is a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, which will travel to Vienna, Budapest, Linz and Bratislava this summer. The teen, who will start his studies at Curtis in the fall, said his ultimate goal is to play with a major U.S. professional orchestra.

The trombonist previously studied with Jim Albrecht, a former University of Akron professor who now teaches at the University of Nevada, and currently studies with Cleveland Orchestra trombonist Richard Stout.

 

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj.